South Africa completely outplayed us: Dhoni

Written by: Pti
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Durban, Jan 12 (PTI) India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoniadmitted that his side was "completely outplayed" by SouthAfrica in the first cricket one-dayer here today.

Chasing 290 for victory, India suffered a top-ordercollapse and slumped to a humiliating 135-run defeat at thehands of a clinical South Africa in the first of the five ODIsat the Kingsmead here.

And Dhoni said while bowling the visitors gave away 40runs extra to the South Africans at the tricky Kingsmeadpitch.

"They (South Africa) completely outplayed us today. Theygot off to a good start and posted a challenging total on theboard," the India skipper said after the match.

"Anything above 250 is difficult to chase here. Ashish(Nehra) had a bad today but the three part-time bowlers(Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina) did well," hesaid.

"We were short in the middle overs but we could have doneslightly better," Dhoni added.

Dhoni said to chase such a big target a good start is amust, which the visitors never got today.

"We didn''t get good start. It never really happened inthe match," he said.

In the absence of seniors like Gautam Gambhir andVirender Sehwag, Dhoni called on the youngsters to take up theresponsibility and strengthen their claim for a spot in theWorld Cup squad starting next month.

"The youngsters who arrived for the ODIs never really gotenough practice before today''s match because it was raining onand off in Durban. But as the series progresses they will gettime to acclimatise to the conditions.

"But it is important for the youngsters to get going andperform before the World Cup," the Indian captain added.

South African skipper Graeme Smith also agreed with hisIndian counterpart, saying 290 is always a difficult chase inthe Kingsmead track.

"290-300 is always tough to chase here. But it was acomplete performance from us," he said.

Smith lauded his teammates for the clinical displayagainst the Indians today.

"AB (de Villiers) and JP (Duminy) played key part withthe bat. (Lonwabo) Tsotsobe did well with the ball.

"Morne (Morkel) also bowled a terrific opening spell. Ifhe continues to bowl like this he will become a difficultcustomer to face in ODIs," he said.

Man-of-the-match Tsotsobe, who picked up four wickets for31 runs, including the prized one of Sachin Tendulkar, saidKingsmead has always been his happy hunting ground.

"This is my favourite ground. I have always done wellhere. I was bit unlucky in Tests but I said to myself that Iwon''t give up," he said.

"I was just trying to hit the length and the deck today,"Tsotsobe added.

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